I love Instagram but today Instagram has given me total mum envy. Maybe, not even mum envy but just general got your crap together envy.
My Instagram feed is full of gorgeous homes, stylish Mothers and their matching children, wardrobes full of shoes that are only attainable in my dreams and women I find inspiring. The last part of this is not my problem. The last part is why I check Instagram. It has also been a place I’ve made friendships that have grown beyond the app and this is my absolute favourite part of social media. The fact that I now say things like ‘oh, I met her on the internet’ makes me giggle a little bit but I swear to god I do meet people the old fashioned way too.
One look at my Instagram feed and you will see I am not likely to appear on the featured accounts list anytime soon. I am not stylish. My children do not wear matching outfits to me. I do not get sent free products daily and my house is not from the pages of a home decorating magazine. Shit, a win for me is to actually get dressed in the morning, check in a mirror before I walk out the door and find two clean bowls to give the girl’s breakfast. Safe to say I am not winning Mother of the Year anytime soon. The biggest downfall of my account is probably my completely average photography skills.
I have been far too involved in this unattainable idea of Instagram perfection that I have actually been thinking what I have is not enough, when what I have is everything. The funniest part is despite knowing Instagram is just a snippet of people’s worlds and the sole purpose of the app is the gorgeous imagery, I have been comparing myself.
I want to be that stylish mother. You know the one that effortlessly throws on an outfit and looks so in vogue you think they belong in the magazine. I am not that mother. I am not even that woman. I am the woman that will spend $50 on my child’s dress but will cringe if the dress I’m lusting over is that price. I’m a tight ass but only when it comes to me. Sometimes I convince myself that I am worth it and then I experience a week of buyers regret and contemplate taking the item back. It’s bloody awful. I cannot afford to be that stylish mother. I need new aspirations. I’m actually unsure this mother is real because I am sure behind that perfect photo and that perfect outfit, she loves a good pair of tights or fleece trackies as much as any of us.
I want to be that Mother that makes motherhood look effortless. I am not. I am that frazzled mother you avoid because she has that hint of crazy in her eyes that you don’t want to invoke. Most days I am one peanut away from a nutbar. I get through this motherhood thing by the skin of my teeth and feel like I’m completely screwing my kids up every step of the way. I’m not. They are fine. I’m just irrational. I am definitely not that effortless Mother. The effortless Mother is also probably a mythical creature because I reckon when the camera isn’t snapping she’s losing her shit as much as the rest of us.
A few months ago I convinced myself that I ‘needed’ things for our house. I could not survive without a freaken fiddle leaf fig or a quote art print that constantly reminds me how happy our house is. I became a Kmart pilgrim because I was determined to have an Instagram worthy house. I won’t lie I love a good Kmart bargain but I didn’t need half the crap I bought. I succumbed to believing a light-box would complete my life but it’s still sitting on the window sill I put it on the day I bought it. The hexagon wall planters I insisted were necessary are now the resting place of the dried up hanging vine I planted in there and forgot to water even once. Our house is ours, we own it, that’s something to be proud of, the fact it started to look just like everyone else’s but on a much cheaper scale, not so much. So it’s out with the crap and back in with the personality.
I love social media. It is an extremely powerful tool. I have made friends and connected with people I would never have met otherwise. It is so helpful when trying to build a successful brand however today I decided I need to step back. Appreciate everything that we do have, be proud of all we have achieved. Celebrate the fact that despite not being that effortless and stylish Mother, I am still a good one. That my house may not be magazine worthy but it is ours. That I may not be able to afford that latest lamb wool blanket everyone is picturing but my life will go on without it. And last but not least, I DEFINITELY do not need anything else from KMART.